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undergroundnewsroom.com November 20, 2017


Sheep can recognize human faces from photographs

09 November 2017, 01:26 | Clyde Nash

Sheep can recognize human faces from photographs

Sheep can recognize people's faces from photographs

When they were tested if they could perform without the rewards, the sheep were able to recognize the celebrities faces eight out of 10 times, Sky News reported. The photo recognition experiment gives scientists a way to track changes in the cognitive abilities of sheep with a gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disease. The sheep chose the right face eight out of 10 times.

The study was done by Cambridge University researchers, who said that they were able to train sheep to recognise faces of actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Watson, former US President Barack Obama and BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce.

Morton and her team are now studying sheep that have been genetically modified to carry the gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease. Past research has shown that horses, dogs, and even mockingbirds can discern between individuals of other species.

After some initial confusion, the animals picked the handler's picture in 72 percent of cases.

The researchers published their findings today in the Royal Society Open Science journal with the title "Sheep recognize familiar and unfamiliar human faces from two-dimensional images". Recognizing a person that is familiar from 3-D life requires "complex image processing", the authors say, because the sheep must translate their memory of the person to a 2-D picture.

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The ability to recognise faces is one of the most important human social skills. The research could even help with research into neurological diseases.

In a final test, the sheep had to choose between a picture of one of their handlers' faces and an unfamiliar face.

"Sheep are long-lived and have brains that are similar in size and complexity to those of some monkeys".

Scientists found that sheep have facial recognition abilities akin to those of humans or monkeys, according to Jenny Morton, the lead scientist in the study.



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